Specialty Club – October 2010

2007 Seghesio Family Vineyards, San Lorenzo Zinfandel
Seghesio was founded in 1895, when Edouardo Seghesio purchased his first vineyards in Sonoma County, ten years after he had emigrated from Piedmont. The San Lorenzo vineyard passed into the Seghesio portfolio by marriage in 1956, and is their oldest Zinfandel planting. Through the years, this wine has always been a yummy, rich Zin that has been very hard to obtain. There’s lots of power here, with 15% Petit Sirah in the blend, and some nice notes of vanilla and anise contributed by the French oak barrels, only 25% of which are new. There’s also sumptuous dark fruit and that spicy and brambly character found in the best Alexander Valley Zins. Winemaker Ted Seghesio feels it’s the best vintage to date of this single vineyard bottling, which is very special to the family. Ted suggests pairing it with beef, game, and red sauces. It’s $55.75, and drinkable now (with decanting) or you could let it develop for two to five years in your cellar.

2009 Abeja, Chardonnay
The Abeja Chard is always one of the most interesting and complex white wines you can find in the state of Washington. The grapes are sourced from four stellar vineyards: Celilo in the Columbia Gorge, known for high acidity, Conner Lee Vineyard, renowned for its minerality, Kestrel, a good source of exuberant fruit, and Gamache. John Abbott uses traditional Burgundian techniques to make the wine, notably barrel fermentation in larger, tight-grained French oak casks (half new, half one-year old), complete malolactic fermentation and aging sur lie. As a result, the wine is rich and full-bodied, yet it retains bright acidity and that feel of freshly sliced apples that is characteristic of Chardonnay. For food pairings, John recommends steamer clams, fish, chicken, pumpkin soup and even eggs scrambled with feta cheese and chives. Although tasty now, it would develop even more complexity in a year or so. It costs $38 and is in excellent supply.